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    • Sunday service - Holy Communion October 2, 2022 at 9:30 am – 11:00 am Grace Church 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon, VT Website: www.gracechurchsheldon.orgTime:  09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)        Every week on Sun.Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83929911344?pwd=alZQTWZMN0ZkWFFPS1hmNjNkZkU2UT09Meeting ID: 839 2991 1344Password: Call for detailsOne tap mobile+13126266799,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (Chicago)+19294362866,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (New York)Dial by your location        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)        +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)Meeting ID:…
    • Sunday service - Holy Communion October 9, 2022 at 9:30 am – 11:00 am Grace Church 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon, VT Website: www.gracechurchsheldon.orgTime:  09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)        Every week on Sun.Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83929911344?pwd=alZQTWZMN0ZkWFFPS1hmNjNkZkU2UT09Meeting ID: 839 2991 1344Password: Call for detailsOne tap mobile+13126266799,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (Chicago)+19294362866,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (New York)Dial by your location        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)        +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)Meeting ID:…
    • Sunday service - Holy Communion October 16, 2022 at 9:30 am – 11:00 am Grace Church 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon, VT Website: www.gracechurchsheldon.orgTime:  09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)        Every week on Sun.Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83929911344?pwd=alZQTWZMN0ZkWFFPS1hmNjNkZkU2UT09Meeting ID: 839 2991 1344Password: Call for detailsOne tap mobile+13126266799,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (Chicago)+19294362866,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (New York)Dial by your location        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)        +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)Meeting ID:…

Pentecost 6 Proper 12 July 24, 2011

Pentecost 6 Proper 12 A RCL July 24, 2011

Genesis 29: 15-28
Psalm 105:1-11, 45b
Romans 8: 26-39
Matthew 13: 31-33, 44-52

In our first lesson this morning, Jacob gets a taste of his own medicine as Laban turns the tables on him. But Jacob hangs in there and works another seven years so that he can marry Rachel, whom he loves.

In the passage from Romans, Paul reaches some of the pinnacles of his theology and his rhetoric. In clear and ringing tones, he makes it clear that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Today’s gospel is one of my all-time favorites. Jesus does not put things in literal terms. He gives us glimpses, metaphors, similes, parables, stories. The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. It is among the smallest of seeds, yet it grows into a large shrub, in which birds can nest. The shalom of God starts small, but it grows into something big and beautiful.

The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that we take and mix into flour until it is leavened. You can’t see it, but it is there, transforming things. A lump of dough becomes nourishing and delicious bread.

The shalom of God is like treasure hidden in a field. Like the pearl, worth everything you have. It is like a net bursting with fish. Abundant, full of life. The kingdom of heaven is growing almost invisible, quietly, gentle, without fanfare, lovingly. It is a realm we can step into through prayer, meditation, and change of attitude. It is a realm full of gifts beyond our ability to imagine. It is the realm in which we are trying to live and move and have our being, by God’s grace. It is that process of transformation which is at this moment restoring the creation and making it whole.

How do we get in sync with the kingdom of heaven? Mainly  through prayer.  Prayer, both individual and corporate, keeps us in touch with God and with God’s guidance. Prayer keeps us on track, both as individuals and as a community of faith. Sometimes it is easy to pray, and then sometimes it can be very difficult. Paul tells us that, in those moments when we have no idea how to pray, the Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. The Spirit of God prays for us, because God knows us and loves us beyond our ability to comprehend. And that is why we can be sure that all things work together for good for those who love God.

The image of the mustard seed is so important and so ignored in this age of bigger is better. Last weekend many of us had the privilege of attending the Sheldon Old Home Day celebration. The turnout was impressive. Everyone worked together. The music was great. History came alive with demonstrations of how things were done back in the day. We had a chance to see Sheldon’s Horse, The Second Continental Light Dragoons, and to hear a fascinating lecture by Howard Coffin, the noted authority on the Civil War.

The spirit of this day and the strong community support and participation reminded me of similar occasions in my home town of Calais.  Small is beautiful. Vermont is small, but what a gem. Sheldon and all the communities in Franklin County are small, and each of them has its own character and strengths.

Small is beautiful. Communities and churches do not have to be big to be good. Small places can be vibrant, alive, and full of gifts and love. I wasn’t surprised that we all worked together to prepare and serve the strawberry shortcake, and we had a wonderful time. We enjoy being together. We enjoy doing things together. We all share a common faith and a knowledge that nothing can separate us from the love of God. We all go out into the world, fed with the nourishment of Christ’s own self, to share his love with others.  There is much to be said for that.

Grace Church is a wonderful place to be, and because of the character of its members, namely you folks, Grace is the center of many vibrant ministries out in the world. We are richly blessed.  Not only did we have a wonderful time doing the strawberry shortcake ministry. We actually had fun doing the audit on July tenth!

Thanks be to God.             Amen

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